How to Quickly Locate a Photoshop Brush

I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts–now!  When I first started using Photoshop, I didn’t. They were too hard to remember.

I found the trick, for me, was to use one shortcut until it became automatic, then start using another shortcut until I knew that one well enough too… and so on. Pretty soon, I was using shortcuts to shorten my workflow without even thinking about it.

But this week I learned a new-to-me shortcut, that I am beyond-excited about and can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it.  It has to do with using Brushes. Not JUST the Brush Tool. This also works with ANY tool in Photoshop tool that uses brushes; ie. the Eraser Tool, the Blur, Sharpen, and Smudge Tools, and the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge Tools.

Prior to this week, when I was working with Brushes and wanted to change from one brush to another, I would click on the down-pointing arrow in the top Menu Bar to see what brushes I had loaded, select one, and go back to work on my document. It was time-consuming and annoying to have to go back and click on that arrow every time I wanted to change to a different brush.


This week I learned that if you want to change brushes, you simply need to right-click on your working document, and the brush picker will open! It is super simple and FAST to just click on the next brush you want to use!

The only thing you need to pay attention to is where you click on your document.  The brush picker will open just to the right of where you click. So if you don’t want to cover up your working document, click to the far right of it so you have plenty of room to see what you are working on.


I am working in CC 2017 and this works perfectly. This also tested successfully in Photoshop Elements 15 and Photoshop CS6. Test your own version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, to see if it works for you.   I’m betting it will work in a lot of versions!

I am always so excited when I learn something new in Photoshop!  I hope you find this helpful too!


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Comments (14)

  1. Peggy S

    Oh my gosh! Thank you for sharing this! WooHoo!

    October 27, 2017 at 10:32 am
  2. Renee

    Woohoo! Thanks for this tip Karen. I have just started working in PS CC and you are right about learning and practicing one tip at a time.

    October 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm
  3. Great tip! I did discover that I have to make sure I am clicking on an actual open document as opposed to the background grey though.

    October 27, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    • Karen

      Yes, that’s right, Tracey. I had that bit of info down at the bottom of the post. I’ll move that up in the body of the post to make it more prominent. Thanks!

      October 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm
  4. norah stack

    Great tip! Thank you!

    October 28, 2017 at 8:35 am
  5. Ellen

    How clever. I tried it out straight away and it work, such a great shortcut. Thanks Karen.

    October 28, 2017 at 9:18 am
  6. Thank you for this, the tip is very useful!

    October 28, 2017 at 10:13 am
  7. JulesW

    Karen, I learned this awhile ago Now I need to find away to quickly charge the opacity for brushes.

    October 28, 2017 at 4:49 pm
  8. Ann

    Thanks Karen for this great tip. I tried it out immediately and works like a gem!!

    October 30, 2017 at 4:07 am
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